YEP Jury: Leeds United’s 3-1 win at Bristol City was a great way to get the Championship rolling as well as easing pre-season misgivings

A more-than-satisfactory start to the 2019/20 SkyBet Championship campaign by Leeds United at Bristol City on Sunday, but the Yorkshire Evening Post jury isn’t getting too carried away at this very early stage in proceedings.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 10:38 am
Man of the match, Pablo Hernandez. PIC: Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD

Not surprisingly, Spaniard Pablo Hernandez gets the overall nod for man of the match in Leeds United colours – platinum and pink apparently – but there were a number of eye-catching performances including from striker Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison.

Here’s what the jurors, who made the long trip to Ashton Gate, had to say. See if you agree.

David Watkins

Noteworthy debut for Ben White. PIC: Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD

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Well that will do to start! For 75 minutes Leeds dominated this game and looked like sauntering to a well-deserved three or four nil win that would put us nicely atop the first-game table.

A superb opener from the irrepressible and ever-youthful Pablo Hernandez, a welcome near-post finish from Patrick Bamford and a third from Jack Harrison had put Leeds in a commanding position.

Quite why we had to give the home side a sniff of a recovery I’m not sure, and I’m not sure what changed in those last few minutes but Leeds managed to give the ball away and concede a soft goal, and there were the inevitable thoughts of a game here not that long ago when Bristol came back from a two-goal deficit in injury time to rescue a point! Thankfully it was not to be and we set off the same way we did last season, with a resounding 3-1 victory.

We don’t know how good or poor Bristol will be this season but, on the face of it, this is a telling win that says we could well be in for a good season. Let’s hope so.

Solid midfielder, Adam Forshaw. PIC: Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

Andy Rhodes

Prior to the game, I, like many of the Leeds fans I know, was a bag of nerves.

While the pundits had tipped Leeds to go up as favourites, they also fancied Bristol City as play-off contenders.

The pundits identified United’s continuity as their main weapon, and that continuity dispelled any pre-match nerves early on.

Pablo Hernandez’s goal is hopefully a sign of things to come and, by the end of the first half, Bristol were on the ropes. All Leeds needed was a second goal and it was the man we all wanted to get one who provided it. It wasn’t the most difficult of chances but that goal will do wonders for Patrick Bamford. Fingers crossed the goals continue to flow.

Jack Harrison’s goal was the icing on the cake after a tidy sweeping move and, while they did concede in the end, you would imagine that Marcelo Bielsa would be happy on the whole.

If Leeds continue in this form, we could be in for another season of quality football.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

Keith Ingham

Leeds started their 2019/20 campaign with a superb 3-1 win at Bristol City – three goals by Pablo Hernandez, Pat Bamford and Jack Harrison were enough to send away fans home happy.

Leeds really impressed when the the ball was at their feet, the Yorkshire ‘Pirlo’ (Kalvin Phillips) always there to provide the muscle and the finesse in midfield to supply Pablo and Jack with opportunities to give Bamford chances. A wonderful goal by Hernandez separated the sides at half-time and further goals by Bamford and Harrison gave Leeds an unassailable lead – no more than the team in platinum and pink deserved.

City did get a goal back but it wasn’t enough to give the hosts a way back into the game. Impressed by the way United dominated and very pleasing that Bamford opened his account after a goalless pre-season.

It is hoped that the sale of Kemar Roofe is replaced by another striker because there needs to be at least an option in that department.

No way can we be left with one striker after the transfer window closes.

I didn’t expect a win but I’ll take it and it was well deserved by the team.

Maybe this season might be a lot better than I expected.

Man of the match: Jack Harrison.

Mike Gill

United gradually edged their way into the game, playing the kind of football that we have come to know and love.

Within 26 minutes this paid off with Pablo Hernandez finding the top left-hand corner of the net with an unstoppable strike. Ben White made an impressive debut, looking cool and composed. His distribution and speed playing out from the back were superior to his predecessor, Pontus Jansson. Kiko Casilla continued to thrill us with an unconventional display. I just hope that he doesn’t make any major mistakes.

However, Leeds got away with it and grew in strength. In the 57th minute, Patrick Bamford headed a second goal after an inch-perfect cross from Hernandez. Bamford was enjoying a good game and put in a lot of running and hard work. Jack Harrison added a third as United coasted to victory.

There was the odd shaky moment but Leeds were in no mood to compromise. A win that answered a lot of questions and, with a couple more signings, Leeds look set for another tilt at Championship success.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

Shaun Smith

With a 100 per cent score prediction record this season I can write with authority on all things Leeds United.

The trip to Bristol went well though a late scald to Brenda the tea lady meant we were down to the bare bones. It will have to be a good player to meet Bielsa’s criteria of having to be better than what he has already and the truth is, what he does have is very good – there’s just not a lot of it. An injury here, or God forbid another cashing in before the window closes, and the Whites will not be able to field a side without relying on loans or juniors. Bielsa, we know, is as mad as a frog, a genius yes, but amphibiously crazy. An owner’s dream as he insists he can play an entire Championship season with a five-a-side team. However crazy it is, however skeletal it’s a darn good team and too much for Bristol City. Bamford worked his silk socks off, looked a Leeds United number nine and Ben White strolled around like someday Manchester United will pay £90m for him. Off we go. Roll on Thursday and worship at your Pablo Hernandez shrines.

Man of the match: Adam Forshaw.

Matthew Evans

We can’t ask for much more on opening day than a 3-1 win for a second successive year.

United looked fresh and hungry against a Bristol side that seemed lacklustre and clueless in comparison.

Several pre-match gripes proved unfounded as Ben White turned in a superb performance in central defence, Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison grabbed their first goals of the season and Kiko Casilla made some important saves.

Last year we were flooded with optimism after seeing United perform so well. This year, after a no-less-impressive performance, we have to acknowledge there’s a long slog ahead and being top of the league now, at Christmas or even in March means very little. There were signs of the fragility we showed in the play-offs when Bristol came back to 3-1 and a second goal for the hosts could have seen a real chance of us throwing the lead away.

Instead, Bristol couldn’t find another way through and we should probably have scored again. A very promising start but a long way to go.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.